Sunday, June 18, 2017

Upcoming Album of the Week (Ending June 17)

Be sure to view a full list of upcoming releases here!

This week, Rostam Batmanglij announced his debut album, Half-Light!

Rostam was a founding member of Vampire Weekend and stayed with the band through their three studio albums before departing last year.

His new album is far from his first bit of work outside of Vampire Weekend. He formed Discovery with Wes Miles of Ra Ra Riot in 2005 and released LP with the band in 2009. In 2011, he released his first solo single, "Wood". And just last year, he partnered with Hamilton Leithauser, formerly of The Walkmen, to release the excellent I Had a Dream That You Were Mine.

He released the first single, "EOS", that would appear on this album early last year, even before his departure from Vampire Weekend and his album with Leithauser were announced. That single was followed by a couple more released more recently, "Gwan" and "Bike Dream".

Half-Light was announced on Wednesday and is set to be released on September 8.

Also announced this week:

Brian Eno - Another Green World Reissue (August 4)
Brian Eno - Before and After Reissue (August 4)
Brian Eno - Here Come the Warm Jets Reissue (August 4)
Brian Eno - Taking Tiger Mountain Reissue (August 4)
Chelsea Wolfe - Hiss Spun (September 22)
Everything Everything - A Fever Dream (August 18)
Frankie Rose - Cage Tropical (August 11)
The Fresh & Onlys - Wolf Lie Down (August 25)
Gordi - Reservoir (August 25)
Joseph Shabason - Aytche (August 25)
Lee Ranaldo - Electric Trim (September 15)
The Lone Bellow - Walk into a Storm (September 15)
Nosaj Thing - Parallels (September 8)
Queens of the Stone Age - Villains (August 25)
Washed Out - Mister Mellow (June 30)

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Upcoming Album of the Week (Ending June 10)

My birthday, August 25, falls on a Friday this year! It's shaping up to be a good day for new music with albums announced, so far, from EMA, Iron & Wine, Oh Sees, and The War on Drugs. Check out my Upcoming Releases page for some ideas for birthday gifts! ;)

This week, Alvvays announced their sophomore album, Antisocialites.

Alvvays (pronounced as "always") became a new favorite of mine in 2014 with their self-titled debut record. The Toronto band, which formed in 2011, impressed with jangly guitars and wistful vocals.

They announced their new album on Tuesday, and also released its first single, "In Undertow".

Antisocialites is set to be released on September 8.

Also announced this week:

Ariana Grande - One Love Manchester (out now)
Avey Tare - Eucalyptus (July 21)
Emily Haines - Choir of the Mind (July 7)
Good Time: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (August 11)
ILOVEMAKONNEN - Fun Summer Vol. 1 EP (out now)
Iron & Wine - Beast Epic (August 25)
Manchester Orchestra - A Black Mile to the Surface (July 28)
Oh Sees - Orc (August 25)
Susanne Sundfør - Music for People in Trouble (August 25)
Toro Y Moi - Boo Boo (July 7)
Vic Mensa - The Manuscript (out now)
Zola Jesus - Okovi (September 8)

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

New Music Friday - April 28, 2017

Be sure to view a list of upcoming releases here!

Essential Full-Length Releases

Feist - Pleasure

It's been six years since the release Feist's previous record, Metals, and it's seemed like a long wait. She started promoting this record with cryptic posts on Instagram in March, referencing the album's title and lead single. The album was recorded with Mocky and Renaud Letang, and features a contribution from Jarvis Cocker (formerly of Pulp).

Watch: "Pleasure"
Listen: "Century" (featuring Jarvis Cocker)

Gorillaz - Humanz

Damon Albarn maintains a lot of projects. He has long been the frontman of Blur, has had an active solo career, and is the primary creator behind Gorillaz. Blur and Gorillaz were both fairly quiet in the first part of the decade. In 2015, he reunited with Blur to release The Magic Whip, their first album in over a decade. The return of Gorillaz was also long-promised. It's out now, only a relatively-short six years following their last output, and with a variety of features, ranging from Savages' Jehnny Beth to Vince Staples.

Watch: "Andromeda" (featuring D.R.A.M.)
Watch: "Ascension" (featuring Vince Staples)

Mary J. Blige - Strength of a Woman

Blige's music has always reflected aspects of her personal life. Strength of a Woman is no different; it follows her 2016 divorce from Martin Isaacs. Also a consummate collaborator, her thirteenth album sees her working with a wide variety of contemporaries (Missy Elliott) and younger artists and producers (Jazmine Sullivan and Kaytranada).

Watch: "Love Yourself" (featuring Kanye West)
Listen: "U + Me (Love Lesson)"

Mew - Visuals

Visuals is the seventh album from this Danish band, following 2015's + -. The album was written while the band was touring in promotion of that last record. The album is the first that the band has recorded following the departure of guitarist Bo Madsen. Even in his absence, the band manages to retain their distinctive prog-influenced sound.

Watch: "Twist Quest"
Watch: "85 Videos"

Sylvan Esso - What Now

This duo of Mountain Man's Amelia Meath and Megafaun's Nick Sanborn released an incredible self-titled debut album in 2014. The success of the album shifted the focus of both members away from their other projects. Much of the time since their debut has been spent touring and recording together. They started releasing tracks for this follow-up back in September with the double single "Radio" and "Kick Jump Twist".

Watch: "Kick Jump Twist"
Watch: "Radio"

Other Full-Length Releases

BNQT - Vol. 1

Listen: "Mind of a Man"
Listen: "Restart"

Cashmere Cat - 9

Watch: "Trust Nobody" (featuring Selena Gomez & Troy Lanez)
Watch: "9 (After Coachella)" (featuring MØ & Sophie)

Colin Stetson - All This I Do for Glory

Watch: "In the Clinches"
Watch: "Spindrift"

JMSN - Whatever Makes You Happy

Watch: "Where Do U Go"
Listen: "Drinkin’"

Mark Lanegan Band - Gargoyle

Watch: "Beehive"
Listen: "Nocturne"

Morning Teleportation - Salivating for Symbiosis

Watch: "Re-wiring Easily"
Listen: "Calm Is Intention Devouring Its Frailty"

Thurston Moore - Rock ’n’ Roll Consciousness

Watch: "Smoke of Dreams"
Listen: "Cease Fire"

Wale - SHINE

Watch: "Running Back" (featuring Lil Wayne)
Watch: "Fashion Week" (featuring G-Eazy)

Willie Nelson - God’s Problem Child

Watch: "He Won’t Ever Be Gone"
Watch: "Old Timer"

Wilsen - I Go Missing in My Sleep

Watch: "Centipede"
Watch: "Garden"

Singles, EPs, Soundtracks, etc.

The Circle: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Listen: Jonsí - "Simple Gifts"
Listen: Danny Elfman - "Happy Little Robots"

Kweku Collins - grey

Listen: "Lucky Ones"

Majid Jordan - "Phases"

Watch: "Phases"

Ryan Adams - Prisoner B-Sides

Listen: "Stop Talking"
Listen: "What If We’re Wrong"

Sufjan Stevens - Carrie & Lowell Live

Swans - The Great Annihilator Reissue
Listen: "Killing for Company"

Van Morrison - The Authorized Bang Collection

Sunday, June 4, 2017

New Music Friday - April 21, 2017

Be sure to view a list of upcoming releases here!

Essential Full-Length Releases

The Raveonettes - 2016 Atomized

Last year, The Raveonettes undertook a different kind of music release project. They released one track, each accompanied by a lyric video, once a month throughout the year. They considered the project to be their Anti-Album. Although the project was attempt to subvert the album, all of those tracks are combined for this more formal release.

Watch: "Fast Food"
Watch: "Choke on Love"

Ray Davies - Americana

I recently learned that Davies' last name is pronounced like "Davis". I had always assumed the slightly more interesting sounding "Dave-ees" and was slightly disappointed by the information. Anyways, the former co-frontman for The Kinks embarked on his solo career a little over 20 years ago. Americana is his fifth solo record, and serves as a bit of a love letter to this land on the other side of the pond.

Watch: "Americana"
Listen: "Poetry"

Shamir - Hope

After releasing his well-regarded debut, Ratchet, in 2015, Shamir had expressed some reticence about continuing his career. However, he had a spate of inspiration a few weeks back and wrote, recorded, and released his second album. He released the album himself, with no label support and no prior promotion.

Listen: "What Else"
Listen: "Hope"

Other Full-Length Releases

Cotillon - The Afternoons

Listen: "Alex’s Room"
Listen: "Black Sea"

Joe Goddard - Electric Lines

Watch: "Home"
Watch: "Music Is the Answer"

Maxïmo Park - Risk to Exist

Watch: "Get High (No I Don’t)"
Watch: "Risk to Exist"

Real Life Buildings - Significant Weather

Watch: "No News"
Listen: "Cold"

Singles, EPs, Soundtracks, etc.

Cream - Fresh Cream Reissue

Listen: "Sleepy Time Time"
Listen: "Dreaming"

Exhibition - Last Dance EP

Listen: "No One There" (featuring Julian Casablancas)

Föllakzoid - London Sessions

Listen: "Earth" (featuring J. Spaceman)

Frank Zappa - Roxy by Proxy Reissue

Listen: "Echnida’s Arf"


J Dilla - Motor City

Listen: "Motor City 1"
Listen: "Motor City 2"

The JuJu - Exchange

Listen: "We Good" (featuring Jamila Woods)
Listen: "Glide"

Woods - Love Is Love

Watch: "Hit That Drum"
Watch: "Politics of Free"

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Upcoming Album of the Week (Ending June 3)

I caught my first Reds game of the season last night. The team pulled out a victory in extra innings (yay!), but it was also a Friday game, so there were fireworks after the game. The fireworks were set to a short set of songs by artists playing the local Bunbury festival this week. Most of the artists I have no particular interest in (I still have no clue who G-Easy is), but they did include a great song from Death Cab for Cutie!

As always, you can view a list of upcoming releases here!

This week, Arcade Fire announced their fifth album, Everything Now.

I think it's safe to say that I don't need to tell you who Arcade Fire is. The world's biggest indie rock band released their most recent album, Reflektor, in 2013. They've been anything but quiet since that record was released. Two members (Win Butler and Owen Pallett) received Academy Award nominations for their work on the Her soundtrack, the band performed on Saturday Night Live, and released a documentary about the making of Reflektor.

They started to release new songs earlier this year, with the Mavis Staples featuring "I Give You Power" being released in January. They were somewhat quiet until this week, when they announced the album and released its title track.

Everything Now is set to be released on July 28.

Also announced this week:

Major Lazer - Know No Better (out now)
Mutual Benefit - Just Another Diamond Day (June 23)
Prophets of Rage - Prophets of Rage (September 15)
The War on Drugs - A Deeper Understanding (August 25)

Sunday, May 28, 2017

New Music Friday - April 14, 2017

Be sure to view a list of upcoming releases here!

Essential Full-Length Releases

Kendrick Lamar - DAMN.

The surprise release has become a bit of a tired approach, but there are still a couple of artists really capable of pulling it off. One of them is Kendrick Lamar; of course, it helps when the music you put out is so incredible. He shifts his sound again on this record, moving away from the experimental funk and jazz of To Pimp a Butterfly to trap on this record. Again, there's nothing lost in the shift, he's made another spectacular album.

Watch: "HUMBLE."
Watch: "DNA."

Lillie Mae - Forever and Then Some

Lillie Mae is one of Jack White's newest finds. The artist, who has been playing the fiddle since she was a child, was signed to Third Man Records a few years ago. Formerly a member of Jypsi, she started playing with White as a member of his all-female backing band, Peacocks, then released her first solo single on his label in 2014. Forever and Then Some is her first album.

Watch: "Over the Hill and Through the Woods"
Listen: "Honky Tonks and Taverns"

Little Dragon - Season High

Season High is the fifth album from this Swedish band. It follows the band's most successful album, 2014's Nabuma Rubberband, which earned them a Grammy nomination. The band has become known for playing across a wide variety of genres, even shifting the style from track to track. This may be their most stylistically consistent record to date, but one that still shows their talent for creating amazing danceable music.

Watch: "High"
Watch: "Sweet"

Singles, EPs, Soundtracks, etc.

Billie Holiday - Platinum Collection

Listen: "God Bless the Child"
Listen: "Strange Fruit"

The Clash - Combat Rock Reissue

Listen: "Should I Stay or Should I Go"
Listen: "Straight to Hell"

The Fate of the Furious

Watch: Lil Uzi Vert, Quavo & Travis Scott - "Go Off"
Watch: G-Eazy & Kehlani - "Good Life"

Outkast - Speakerboxxx/The Love Below Reissue

Watch: "Roses"
Watch: "The Way You Move" (featuring Sleepy Brown)

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Upcoming Album of the Week (Ending May 27)

Yesterday was the 50th anniversary of The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band! To celebrate the milestone, the album was released with tons of extra content like session tapes and alternate mixes. You know, a lot of seminal albums will be reaching the same milestone in the coming years, if they get the same reissue treatment, be sure to check them out at my Upcoming Releases page!

This week, SZA's debut studio album, CTRL, finally got a release date!

The singer, who is signed to Top Dawg Entertainment, has self-released two EPs and released a third, 2014's Z, on the label. To most people, though, she may be best-known for co-writing and featuring on the opening track from Rihanna's excellent ANTI-, "Consideration".

CTRL was first announced a few years ago and initially intended to be entitled A. The release date was continually pushed back, but showed up on a TDE's planned 2016 releases. The album got a few more tentative and rumored release dates, but nothing concrete. I think the uncertainty nearly pushed the artist too far, and she threatened to quit the label back in October.

What we have now does seem to be the album's official release. Several tracks from the album have already been released, including "Drew Barrymore" and "Love Galore".

CTRL is set to be released on June 9.

Also announced this week:

Beach Boys - 1967 - Sunshine Tomorrow (June 30)
Daphni - fabriclive 93 (July 21)
The Kills - Echo Home - Non-Electric EP (June 2)
LateNightTales: BADBADNOTGOOD (June 23)
The Pollyseeds - The Sounds of Crenshaw Vol. 1 (July 14)